Abstract A radioimmunosorbent technique was used for the assay of the skeletal muscle specific enzyme, carbonic anhydrase III (CA III). The usefulness of serum CA III determinations for detecting skeletal muscle damage was evaluated by comparing the serum levels of this enzyme and of myoglobin and creatine kinase in 64 patients with neuromuscular disorders and in 13 healthy volunteers before and after a long-distance run. Increased serum CA III levels were found in all patients with muscular dystrophy, chronic polymyositis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in many with myasthenia gravis. In patients with polymyositis who were followed up with repeated blood sampling, the time courses of serum CA III levels, myoglobin levels and clinical symptoms were closely related. In all the runners the serum CA III level immediately after the run was increased. In the present study serum CA III and myoglobin seemed to be equally sensitive as biochemical markers of muscular damage and more sensitive than creatine kinase.